In 2018, Assil earned her first James Beard Award nod and opened her second restaurant, Dyafa. That alone would be a significant achievement for any young chef, given the upscale, ambitious nature of Dyafa’s space and eats. But let’s not forget she did so while maintaining excellence at her brick-and-mortar bakery Reem’s, managing a slew of farmers’ market stands, and raising a baby. And all the while, Assil has also proven her commitments to social justice and fostering supportive workplace environments. It’s not unusual for even the most promising chefs to get off to rocky starts under the weight of media pressure, but we can find no serious faults with Assil’s brisk rise in the culinary world. We’re thrilled to see her represent Oakland on the national stage.